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Thousands of state workers get raises despite budget gaps

10 months 1 week 6 days ago January 27, 2016 Jan 27, 2016 Wednesday, January 27 2016 January 27, 2016 2:16 PM in News
Source: Associated Press
By: Melinda Deslatte

BATON ROUGE - At least $8 million in pay raises have been granted to thousands of Louisiana's state workers this budget year, despite the worst financial gaps the state has seen since 1988.

The cost of those raises will grow to at least $15 million for the next budget year, when they are annualized, according to data gathered from departments by The Associated Press.

Some pay hikes were given by former Gov. Bobby Jindal's cabinet secretaries shortly before they exited office, leaving Gov. John Bel Edwards' administration to deal with the long-term financial implications.

Jindal's transportation secretary gave out raises to 3,800 workers about a week before that administration left.

Other salary boosts were given by statewide elected officials who remain in office, including the insurance commissioner, secretary of state and agriculture commissioner.

Though Louisiana continues to struggle with budget shortfalls,

Here's a look at some of the departments that doled out the pay hikes:

TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT

-3,802 employees
-Raises given Jan. 1
-$4.1M cost in current budget year
-$8.6M cost next budget year

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ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

-606 employees
-Raises given Dec. 21
-$953,260 cost in current budget year
-$1.9 million cost next budget year

___

WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES

-701 employees
-Raises given Dec. 21
-$1.1M cost in current budget year
-$2.1M cost next budget year

___

COASTAL PROTECTION AND RESTORATION AUTHORITY

-144 employees
-Raises given in December
-$317,000 cost in current budget year
-$423,000 cost next budget year

___

INSURANCE

-175 employees
-Raises given Jan. 4
-$171,168 cost in current budget year
-$370,864 cost next budget year

___

SECRETARY OF STATE

-265 employees
-Raises given Oct. 1
-$368,329 cost in current budget year
-$491,105 cost next budget year
___

AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY

-499 employees
-Raises given between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31
-$706,105 cost in current budget year
-$987,029 cost next budget year

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